Saturday, January 23, 2016

Marvel's Agent Carter 2.01: "The Lady in the Lake"

“Ready for another adventure, Miss Carter?”
- Mr. Jarvis

The Quote of the Episode really says it all. We are back for another rollicking adventure with Peggy and the SSR fellas and I couldn’t be more pleased. In short order, after catching Dottie In a bank heist, Peggy gets sent to LA to assist new West Coast Bureau Chief Sousa with a weird case of his. He gets called in by a cop because a woman was found dead in a frozen lake (in the middle of summer). Clearly something the SSR should be dealing with. Back on the East Coast, Jack is trying to interrogate Dottie but she bests him and then when he gets her to agree to go to jail in exchange for information, the FBI swoops in and whisks her away. The head of the FBI (who is apparently an old family friend) explains over drinks that the SSR is a wartime agency and with the war over (it being 1947 and all), the agency is on its last legs. So of course Jack wants to be in the thick of it and I just can’t imagine that ending well for him!

The bigger mystery lies in LA with the dead woman. I have to admit it was good to see Jarvis again and the insanity that Stark is up to now is just hilarious. He’s going into the film business and he’s collecting exotic animals, including Bernard the Flamingo. Good lord I laughed so hard at that bit. Of course, Jarvis wants in on the action of the case (at least as Peggy’s chauffeur). He’s been dreadfully board since their last shenanigans in New York. I have to say I like the way the glitz and glamor of LA fits in with the story.

Things are a little awkward between Sousa and Peggy when she first arrives. It seems they had tried to make of a go of it but it just never really worked. Which is sad because the two of them are adorable together. Thanks to a disgruntled lab tech, the team learns that what froze the ice was a radioactive isotope that is likely being manufactured at a facility nearby. When the front desk receptionist refuses to let them in for a look around, Peggy and Sousa rather seamlessly use a rouse to get her inside. Peggy quickly meets Dr. Wilkes (a handsome and kind of quirky scientist) who identifies their dead woman as a physicist at the company, Jane Scott, who was sleeping with the company’s owner (who is married). In the hopes of getting some information out of him, Peggy and Jarvis head down to the races but Peggy gets stonewalled. But we do get to meet Mrs. Jarvis and she is adorable. She’s so bubbly and sassy and she even made Peggy a garter that doubles as a holster. I know last season I kind of wanted Peggy and Jarvis to have a thing but Ana is just so great, I’m in love with her already!

The situation gets even more complicated when Sousa and Peggy go to check on the autopsy results and the coroner has been frozen solid, too. He ends up shattering into a million pieces when Sousa touches him. Definitely not a good sign. But the autopsy report reveals something interesting, she was poisoned by the exposure to isotope rather than being stabbed and left in the lake by the killer the LAPD detective assumed. Peggy also points out that the only people who knew a particular signature of the killer were the killer himself and the police. So it becomes rather obvious (especially after we see the detective freeze a water fountain) that he is somehow involved. He ends up kidnapping Wilkes and knocking Jarvis out in a bed to get away. He thinks the good doctor will be able to help cure him but things aren’t looking good. On the run, he explains that he was hired to get rid of Jane and whoever hired him won’t let him get caught. This becomes painfully obvious (for him) when one of the cops shoots and shatters him into a million pieces, too. He was paid off by the owner of the company who’d been having the affair. It turns out his wife knew all about it and they were working together to clean up the mess. But they still don’t know who killed Jane (although we do) so the case for them isn’t closed yet. When Peggy tries to get Sousa to go out for a drink, he declines and we quickly see that he’s got a new lady friend in town. Maybe this means that Peggy will be able to treat Wilkes as not a “person of interest” anymore and maybe take him up on his offer for dinner and dancing. I certainly hope so. After all, from the Captain America movies we know she married and had kids after Steve got lost in the ice. I could see her falling for a smart man with a sense of humor like Wilkes.

In the episode’s final moments we see the head of the company in an underground facility watching a substance that looks a lot like the liquid form of the monolith that’s been plaguing SHIELD of late. There is definitely something more going on than just the isotope and I can’t wait to find out what it is. I had a lot of fun watching this episode and I fully expect to be entertained going forward for the remainder of the season. Even if this is the end of the line for Peggy and the guys, I feel pretty damn lucky to have gotten to spend this much time playing in their world and seeing them kick some serious butt. It makes me happy that they are finally treating Peggy like the badass agent that she is. I also hope we get a tie-in of some sort to SHIELD’s plotline with the Inhumans because as we know, Hydra’s been trying to get that damn Inhuman back from the planet all this time.

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